I went streaking. It was a number of years ago, but I feel that streaking is on the “Do At Least Once In Life” list. (Standing boldly between smoking pot and skinny dipping.)
Ohio University. A night when it was short sleeves warm when you walked into the bar and stumbling out you’d be cold if you weren’t shielded by the false warm aura of drunkenness. Acton and I had been in the C.I. for most the evening. There seemed to be some kind of commotion in front of the bar as we exited. In the street, a girl stood in the back of a parked pickup truck, her shirt disheveled. A boy had jumped into the back with her and grabbed her from behind. A protective hug. From the cheers of “do it again” and “nice tits,” I reasoned... (no wait, I was drunk) I guessed she had just flashed the people exiting the bar. Acton and I looked at each other. He was in despair that we had missed the flashing girl. (Flashing is on the list if you are a girl. It’s down near parachuting and eating sushi.) I had another idea.
“I’m going to streak.”
Acton, the smartest guy I know reasoned with me. “No way………… OK, where do you want to take off your clothes?”
We quickly shuffled down Court Street towards the corner. Athens has all sorts of hidey holes and twisting alleys. You can still find crushed beer cans with pull tabs in the bricked up, ground level windows back in those dark spaces. I needed a place to get naked.
The commotion of the guys yelling tits collected the attention of the cops. Their cop car stopped on Court Street a few feet in front of the sans tits truck. I think they wanted to do a show up and scare the kids away. It worked. The crowd dispersed. Little did they know that they had also halted my plans of disrobing.
Acton said, “Hey, let’s jump up and down on the hood of the cop car! We’ll split up and they’ll never catch us. Hell, they won’t even get out of the car.” That sounded like an even better idea. Those fat fuckers could never catch up with us. I can still envision it. American Graffiti color scheme. The shot is from the back seat of the darkened cop car. Motionless silhouettes of the cops as Acton and I gleefully jump up and down on the hood. All you see is my Converse and Acton’s beat up leather shoes bounding up and down. Pure joy.
But that didn’t happen. On the sidewalk, I gave up. “Let’s go home.”
We turned and walked back up Court Street away from the bars.
I’m not sure if it was the last beer finally wandering up and down my brain stem or perhaps I heard a couple of guys who saw the truck girl tits reminiscing. Either way, three blocks from home I changed my mind.
“Fuck it, I’m going to do it.”
And Acton immediately pointed, “There’s a stairwell… no wait, that alley.”
John followed me back. I stripped down and handed him my clothes. John handed me back my Converse. “You better wear these.” I put the shoes on.
Now, at this point, I want all streaking purists to just keep their shirts on… or off. Streaking is the act of running with your ass and frontal naked bits exposed. Don’t get all technical on me. Streaking, you can wear shoes. Especially Converse.
John said to give him a minute to run up the street so that he could watch. He bounded off with my clothes under his arm. That was an interesting minute. I stood there naked, arms crossed and jogging in place. I was almost waiting for someone taking a shortcut to turn the corner to see a naked guy in black Converse.
48… 49…. 50.. long enough.
I sprinted out of the alley, almost running into a couple.
“Hey! Holy shit!”
I ran across the brick street in a wide arc and down the side walk. At this point in the night, everyone is walking in the same direction, away from the bars. Groups of two, four and seven filled the side walk. I ran forward, slowing only to slip and dodge in between couples. As I broke through the crowds I’d shout, “Naked man coming through!” Shouts of, “Hey what are you… oh my God!” and laughter followed me down the street. It was pure joy.
I ducked down the alley by Acton’s apartment. I reached the back and climbed up the fire escape. Silent cops followed me, I was sure. In through the kitchen window and in a heap on the floor. I walked down the hallway and waited for Acton to come up. His laughing preceding.
Several friends sat in the front room and I did a quick lap through the room. Acton gave me back my clothes and I got dressed.
Everyone should go streaking at least once.